Ten Reform Rabbis Named "Most Inspiring"
A hearty mazal tov to the 28 rabbis named to the Jewish Daily Forward's annual list of "America's Most Inspiring Rabbis," released today. On this year's list are 10 Reform rabbis who received ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform Movement's seminary. Read on to learn more about these inspirational members of the clergy, and click through to hear from the congregants, colleagues, and friends whose lives they've impacted. And tell us: Who's the most inspiring rabbi in your life?
- Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, 70, is the senior rabbi at Central Synagogue in New York, NY, a thriving Reform congregation in Midtown Manhattan that serves 2,300 member families and the local community. Rabbi Rubinstein, who plans to retire this June, serves on the Board of several prominent organizations, including Auburn Theological Seminary, the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, UJA-Federation of New York, and United Way of New York. He is an alumnus of URJ Kutz Camp, a Reform leadership camp in Warwick, N.Y.
- Rabbi Susan Talve, 61, is the founding rabbi of Central Reform Congregation, the only Jewish congregation in St. Louis, MO, with a membership of more than 750 households. Rabbi Talve has led her congregation in promoting radical inclusivity by developing ongoing relationships with African-American and Muslim congregations, and by fostering civil liberties for the LGBTQ community, and she continues to stand on the front line of reproductive rights issues.
- Rabbi Jamie Korngold, 48, of Boulder, CO, heads Adventure Rabbi: Synagogue Without Walls, a nondenominational Jewish community that describes itself as "a vibrant and thoughtful congregation with two rabbis, an innovative religious school, engaging (never boring) retreats, and the best bar and bat mitzvah program in the world."
- Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, 43, is the senior rabbi of Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis, MN. A recognized leader on fair housing, ending gun violence, marriage equality, and progressive social change, Rabbi Latz believes the rabbi’s job is to teach and live Torah in the very busy intersection of spirituality and justice. He is an alumnus of NFTY: The Reform Youth Movement, and has spent summers at Reform summer camps such as URJ Kutz Camp, Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute, and URJ Camp Kalsmam.
- Rabbi Rena Arshinoff, 60, is a spiritual care professional at Toronto Western Hospital — University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario. A nurse and chaplain, Rabbi Arshinoff’s main area of interest is bereavement and healing, with a special interest in the healing power of bereavement support groups for adults and children alike.
- Rabbi Andrea London, 50, is the senior rabbi of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL. In her years at Beth Emet, Rabbi London has established strong ties between Beth Emet and its Israeli sister congregation, Kehillat Tsur Hadassah, leading a 2005 congregational trip to Tsur Hadassah. She has worked to build bridges between Chicago-area Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and spends her summers serving on the faculty of URJ Olin Sang Ruby Institute, a Reform summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI.
- Rabbi Fred Natkin, 66, of Congregation Mateh Chaim in Palm Bay, FL, entered the rabbinate with the sole purpose of becoming a military chaplain, seeking to bring Judaism and spirituality to overseas troops and conducting “Shabbat” services regardless of what day of the week it was. He served in the Navy and the Marines for 25 years before joining Congregation Mateh Chaim more than 20 years ago.
- Rabbi David Segal, 33, came to Aspen Jewish Congregation in Aspen, CO, three years ago with his wife, Cantor Rollin Simmons. He serves on the board of the Aspen Homeless Shelter and the United Jewish Appeal-Aspen Valley. Originally from Houston, TX, he worked for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., for two years before heading to rabbinical school.
- Rabbi E. Daniel Danson, 57, is the spiritual leader of Mt. Sinai Congregation in Wausau, WI, a 90-family congregation that calls itself the “Frozen Chosen.” The congregation refers to Rabi Danson, an avid canoeist and downhill skiier, as "the glue that holds our geographically far-flung Jewish community together. " In the summer, he serves on the faculty of URJ Olin Sang Ruby Institute Reform summer camp in Oconomowoc, WI.
- Rabbi Ted Falcon, 72, founded Interfaith Amigos in Seattle, WA, with his colleagues Pastor Don Mackenzie and Imam Jamal Rahman. Since 9/11, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor to audiences in the US, Canada, Israel, and Japan. Rabbi Falcon is a spiritual guide, author, teacher, and therapist who has taught Jewish traditions of Kabbalah, meditation, and spirituality since the 1970s.